Sports teams should always look to increase ad revenue. Most other businesses don't sell merchandise and don't get thousands from people wanting to see them work. Sports are the ultimate money maker, and the biggest sports league in the world based on attendance can take the most advantage because of that. However, the blank jersey fronts are like blank billboards. I know a lot of people don't like that concept, but a good design can make it a non-factor and it can mix in great with the jersey. Companies pay millions a year for their name on a stadium, but not even having a giant Lucas Oil sign on the outside of the Lube is as appealing as a logo on a jersey.
Having an ad on a jersey makes not only the players walk around with your company's logo, but everyone who owns one as well. Everyone who buys a Chelsea jersey gives Samsung, their main jersey sponsor, more advertising without it becoming overbearing. For anyone who has walked through Lucas Oil Stadium knows a little about overbearing advertising.
Here is a look at some soccer jerseys with their sponsorship on them.
Cristiano Ronaldo & Manchester United
Fredy Montero and Seattle Sounders FC, my favorite team
Now, I don't see anything wrong with that. The XBox 360 Live logo doesn't stand out. Same thing with Carling and AIG logo. I and every other soccer fan is perfectly fine with the logos on the jersey. I'm also sure front offices would be as well. Look at some of the contracts signed for these sponsorships.
Manchester United: 91.1 million US$ for 4 years
Chelsea: 80.6 million US$ for 5 years
Celtic FC: 2.9 million US$ per year
Los Angeles Galaxy: Between $ 4 and 5 million per year
So an MLS team, a team that plays in the fifth most popular sports league in the country, makes between 4 and 5 million dollars for a sponsorship on their shirt. How much do you think an NFL team would make? I would peg it around $20 million a year. It seems like a no-brainer for teams, especially NBA and NHL teams that are losing so much money. We keep on hearing about how the Pacers are losing so much money while they have so much room for a multimillion dollar deal on their jerseys. It bothers me less than advertising in the stadium, and it makes sense for both parties. I know a lot of you reading will think of this as an abomination, but money talks. Being blinded by the bright yellow of Sprint while walking through Lucas Oil Stadium bothers me more than wearing a number 18 jersey with HHGregg or Subway on the front. But maybe that's just me.